You can reach Java, just west of Bali, and Sumbawa, just west of Lombok, via ferries. Through buses can take you all the way to Jakarta. Longer distance boats serve Indonesia’s eastern islands.
Ferry Running constantly, ferries (adult/child 6000/4500Rp, car & driver 95,000Rp, motorbike 31,000Rp; 24hr) cross the Bali Strait between Gilimanuk in western Bali and Ketapang (Java). The actual crossing takes under 30 minutes, but you’ll spend longer than this loading, unloading and waiting around. Car rental contracts usually prohibit rental vehicles being taken out of Bali.
From Ketapang, bemo (small minibuses) travel 4km north to the terminal, where buses leave for Baluran, Probolingo (for Gunung Bromo), Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Jakarta. There’s a train station near the ferry port, with trains to Probolingo, Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Jakarta. Contact the Train Information Service (0361-227131; www.kereta-api.com) for more information (on the website, Jadwal means schedule).
Pelni ships link Lembar with other parts of Indonesia. The Awu heads to Waingapu, Ende, Kupang and Kalabahi; the Kelimutu goes to Bima, Makassar and Papua; and the Tilongkabila to Bima, Labuanbajo and Sulawesi. Tickets can be bought at the Pelni office (0370-637212; Jl Industri 1; 8am-noon & 1-3.30pm Mon-Thu & Sat, 8-11am Fri) in Mataram.
Other Indonesian Islands
Services to other islands in Indonesia are often in flux, although Pelni is reasonably reliable. Check for other services at the harbour in Benoa.
The national shipping line is Pelni (www.pelni.co.id), which schedules large boats on long-distance runs throughout Indonesia.
Three ships from Pelni stop at the harbour in Benoa as part of their regular loops throughout Indonesia. Dobonsolo with Java, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and northern Papua; and Awu and Tilongkabila with Nusa Tenggara and southern Sulawesi. Prices are dependent on the route and the class of travel, and this can range widely in price. Check for details locally but in general, fares, even in 1st class, are very low, eg Benoa to Surabaya on Java is US$35.
You can inquire and book at the Pelni offices in Tuban (0361-763963, 021-7918 0606; www.pelni.co.id; Jl Raya Kuta 299; 8am-noon & 1-4pm Mon-Fri, 8am-1pm Sat) and at the harbour in Benoa (0361-721377; h8am-4pm Mon-Fri, 8am-12.30pm Sat).
The ferry crossing is included in the services to/from Ubung terminal in Denpasar offered by numerous bus companies, many of which travel overnight. It’s advisable to buy your ticket at least one day in advance from travel agents in the tourist centres or at the Ubung terminal. Note too that fierce air competition has put tickets to Jakarta and Surabaya in the range of bus prices.
Fares vary between operators; it’s worth paying extra for a decent seat and air-con. For a comfortable bus ride, typical fares and travel times are Yogyakarta (210,000Rp, 16 hours) and Jakarta (305,000Rp, 24 hours), usually travelling overnight. Some companies travel directly between Java and Singaraja, via Lovina, on the north coast of Bali.
Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS) is just south of Kuta. It is named after a hero of the struggle for independence from the Dutch.
The airport is spacious and modern and is well-served with international flights. It has a hotel-booking counter, a left-luggage room, several moneychangers, an expensive duty-free shop and many souvenir shops, ATMs and lots of familiar fast-food places.
The domestic terminal (0361-751011) and international terminal (0361-751011) are a few hundred metres apart.
International airlines flying to and from Bali include the following:
Air Asia (airline code AK; 0361-760116; www.airasia.com) Hub Kuala Lumpur.
Thai Airways International (airline code TG; 0361-288141; www.thaiair.com) Hub Bangkok.
Domestic services in Bali seem to be in a constant state of flux. However competition is fierce and you can usually find flights to a range of destinations for under US$100. The best thing to do is to go to the airport and shop at the airline ticket offices. Often you’ll come close to long-distance bus and ferry fares. Places served often from Bali include Jakarta, Surabaya, Lombok, Yogyakarta, Bima, Maumere, Bandung, Kupang and more.
Garuda Indonesia (airline code GA; 0361-227824; www.garuda-indonesia.com) Hubs Bali and Jakarta.
Lion Air (airline code JT; 0361-763872; www.lion airlines.com)